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Lesson Plan

Research Building Blocks: Skim, Scan, and Scroll

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Research Building Blocks: Skim, Scan, and Scroll

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Two 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Lisa Storm Fink

Lisa Storm Fink

Urbana, Illinois

Publisher

National Council of Teachers of English

 

Overview

From Theory to Practice

 

OVERVIEW

Children are naturally curious—they want to know "how" and "why." Teaching research skills can help students find answers for themselves. "Skim, Scan, and Scroll," taken from a research skills unit, is a step towards students completing a written research report. Here, students learn to read informational text, looking for supporting details. After the skills of skimming and scanning printed and electronic texts are modeled by the teacher, students practice the skills on their own.

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FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE

Teaching the process and application of research should be an ongoing part of all school curricula. It is important that research components are taught all through the year, beginning on the first day of school. Dreher et al. explain that "[S]tudents need to learn creative and multifaceted approaches to research and inquiry. The ability to identify good topics, to gather information, and to evaluate, assemble, and interpret findings from among the many general and specialized information sources now available to them is one of the most vital skills that students can acquire" (39). In her article "Rethinking Research," Eileen A. Simmons agrees: "We can't expect students to produce outstanding research papers unless we teach them strategies for gathering information, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating that information through critical thinking." (115)

Further Reading

Dreher, Jean, et al. 2000. Easy Steps to Writing Fantastic Research Reports (Grades 3-6). New York: Scholastic Professional Books.

 

Simmons, Eileen A. "Rethinking Research." English Journal 89.1 (September 1999): 114-117.

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